Counterfeit wristbands being sold for ACL; what to watch out for

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Thousands of music fans packed Zilker Park for the first weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, with most buying passes for all three days. Some others hoping to get in were turned away after it was discovered they had purchased fake wristbands.

Viewers contacted us saying they are out hundreds of dollars after buying what they thought were real passes.

“I got home, compared it to the wristband I had and it looked a bit off,” Trevor Evenson said. “The quality wasn’t as good and the colors were off.”

But unfortunately, it was too late. He had already paid $225 for what he thought was a real ACL wristband. But when he tried to use it, he was told it wasn’t real.

The festival’s website warns would be fans about buying tickets from anyone other than them.

“I would like to see that ACL would have a better way to tell it’s legit on the website other than just saying hey, be careful. If it’s not from us it’s not 100 percent,” Evenson said.

Counterfeits aren’t the only tickets you have to watch out for at ACL. Ticket City says they lost $800 this past weekend due to stolen tickets.

“We would not know they’re stolen if they’re proper wristbands until we get them checked out afterwards,” chief energizing officer Randy Cohen said. “Once we realize they’re not working we have to replace those to make sure they’re working for our clients.”

Looking back, Evenson wishes he asked more questions and doesn’t want others to make the same mistakes he did.

Combating counterfeit tickets

With another weekend of ACL coming up, KXAN wanted to know how you can spot a counterfeit ticket.

“We regularly caution patrons to only buy tickets through ACL or our ticketing company, Front Gate Tickets. The technology we implement prevents counterfeits from entering the gates,” an Austin City Limits Music Festival spokeswoman said in a statement.

She also says they don’t have pictures on their website due to security reasons and fear of copycats.

With big events like the Texas-OU football game and Formula One coming up, we wanted to alert you to a few more red flags.

The Better Business Bureau says you should stay clear of online classified ads. They’re popular with criminals who are trying to sell counterfeits.They also recommend watching out for cut rate prices. If someone uses a hard luck story as the reason to sell tickets suddenly, it’s often a bad sign.

And always read the fine print. If there isn’t guidance on what type of seat you’re getting or what happens if the event is rained out – that’s often a red flag.

If you are sold a fake ticket, make sure to file a police report. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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